Tag Archive for: promotion

This episode and blog post reveal how “Podcast Guesting” is one of the best possible marketing strategies for business owners, and especially for podcasters, authors, speakers and course creators.

Episode Overview

  1. What it is and why care
  2. Careful – best practices matter throughout
  3. Process overview
  4. How to best get started
  5. Using a guesting service vs the DIY approach
  6. A walk through demo of the DIY approach

What is “Guesting”, And What Are the Benefits?

Being a guest on other peoples podcasts is good PR – not just for podcasters.

It is a major PR strategy for both corporates, business owners as well as entrepreneurs. The podcast interview as a promotion strategy works especially well for book and course launches. And while podcasting is increasingly competitive, it is still easier to get booked on podcasts than it is to land TV interviews on major networks. This is in part why so many content marketers have embraced podcast guesting as a goto promotion tactic.

With the rise in podcast popularity, exposure and audience size that guest appearances on major podcasts represent is constantly increasing

As a result there are several programs out there that teach why this is such an effective marketing approach for start-ups, authors, speakers and entrepreneurs to create PR and promote their business.

Why is Podcast Guesting so hot?

There are a number of indications of the fact that podcast guesting is hot.

  • In the last couple of years multiple guest booking services have sprung up.
  • There are multiple new services that provide podcast research tools to indicate ROI and audience size for podcast booking and outreach campaigns.
  • Many guest booking agencies are fully booked through next year, and getting while finding new guests for your own podcast is easy, getting booked as a guest on major shows is getting harder, presumably because it is popular.
  • Some major podcasts are no longer accepting guest applications.

There are also indications as to why, at least from what we are observing as a podcast production and marketing agency:

  • Podcast guesting leverages the existing audiences of your host, and does so much more effectively than social media campaigns
  • Guesting on podcasts can be much more cost effective than paid ads, when done right
  • Podcast listeners love the credibility of host recommendations, and also love hearing from guest experts

“Podcast Research Tools” are improving

Steve Olsher’s Profiting from Podcasts was a program from 2018 for non-podcasters and podcasters alike to appear on other people’s shows. As part of his site he gave away a  “lead magnet”, consisting of a free directory and contact information for 670 podcasters whose show you could appear on. At the time, this was a treasure trove for finding shows to be on.

Since then, a lot of great new podcast research tools have launched.

  • These podcast data research platforms are intended to establish a good fit for both the host and the guest.
  • They allow podcasters to identify shows to reach out to much more efficiently.
  • Podcasts can be grouped into meaningful categories and sub-categories to establish a potential host and guest match.

Podchaser Pro, Listen Notes and more recently Rephonic allow podcast booking service agencies to search and view a host of download data, contact information, popularity and sub-genre information that used to be painfully time intensive to find out.

Podcasters have a built-in advantage

Podcast guesting is a good opportunity for people who do not podcast themselves. But it is an even better opportunity for those of us who do have a podcast and want to promote it. This is because as a podcaster you will have a decided advantage:

  • You are used to podcasting and fluent “on air”
  • Great sound quality is part of your own mission
  • Furthermore you are empathetic with the needs of a podcast host, and able to create value for the show you will appear on

Benefits of Podcast Guesting

The tactical benefits are too many to count, and are bi-directional for both the host and the guest. As a guest you get to add value to the host’s show, by offering not only your passion, insights and expertise, but you also get to talk about your products and services.

  • Great for your SEO: Guest appearances on podcasts usually result in a backlinks to your business website. This is a big deal because links to your site are one of the most important ranking signal Google uses. So if you are podcasting as content strategy and want your show to appear in search results more easily, you’ve got to have links to your site. Each time you appear on someone else’s show, this is a likely outcome.
  • It’s evergreen: while you are likely to get an initial boost, the episode you appear on will continue to exist. And will allow people to discover your own business or podcast.
  • Above all, you can attract your ideal audience: people who listen to podcasts already. If listeners like you as a guest, they will check out your own show. We have seen this countless times. A great appearance on a popular show can skyrocket your own podcast subscriber base overnight, especially if your podcasting website is designed for conversion.

If you can take your own message, mission and values and match it with that of your host’s podcast, you are attracting a super engaged audience. Your brand’s awareness increases in the process.

Careful: Best Practice Matters

I mentioned Steve Olsher’s list of 600+ podcasts with contact info. Whatever you do, don’t abuse this list – for example by sending an impersonal mass email asking to be on 600 shows. Certainly your name will be dirt in the podcasting community if you do that!

And this is true for generating a DIY list as well: There are ways you yourself can get contact info to outreach to people. But you will want to follow best practices and do your research ahead of time. So throughout this episode, we’ll point out best practices to follow to increase your success rate.

How Best To Get Started With A “Podcast Guesting” Strategy

Steve’s Olsher’s list features big podcasts with established audiences, and that’s great.

Start Small

However, don’t start there. Start with smaller players, if you are in a smaller niche yourself, and work your way up. To appear on the big shows, prove that you are worthy guest with a worthy message, and a large audience yourself.

Grow Big Later

So instead, start with the smaller players in your field, and get practice. Having been a guest on other shows will help to get on the big shows later.

Use a Podcast Booking Service

The fastest way is also the most expensive, but hiring a podcast booking service saves you from having to do the work yourself. Be prepared to invest several thousand dollars for this to be effective, though.

The “Guesting” Strategy Process

The podcast guesting strategy breaks down into components:

  1. Researching the best podcasts to appear on
  2. Finding Contact Info
  3. Outreach campaign to pitch why you would make a great guest
  4. The actual appearance
  5. Follow-Ups

Researching Podcasts To Appear On

You can use iTunes to research podcasts in your niche. Do some SEO keyword searches, locate podcasts that are good candidates for your own message, and look up the podcast website in the iTunes app. I recommend entering candidates in a Google Sheet.

Use Listen Notes

Listen notes is a great research platform and allows you to filter podcast search data by many criteria. This is a huge time saver. They also offers a trial for their premium data downloads. Alternatives are Podchaser Pro and Rephonic — but these research tools come with a hefty price tag mostly meant for agencies.

Apple Podcasts (AKA iTunes) vs Google

Apple Podcasts is a rather poor discoverability and research tool. Another way to do this is with a simple Google search, by entering a term or keyword and then adding +podcast at the end. In most cases there will be write ups. For example, let’s take “positivity” as the keyword and try this:

The results reveal several listicle posts about the top positivity podcasts to listen to. Perfect! Let’s drill down to examine each.

Via Player FM

Another good platform to research podcasts to appear on is Player.fm. This is because they list the number of subscribers on their platform, and this will show you how popular each one is.

Time for a mini demo (Video at 7:30)

  • searching for shows
  • filtering to display results from the last year
  • investigating each podcast site for Alexa Rank and Domain Authority
  • make sure they are interview shows

So, build a list of about 20 podcasts you would love to be on. We have a Google Sheets template for this process, and I am sharing a link to that at the bottom of this episode. Click here for that.

Finding contact information

The next stage in the process is to identify email addresses. The tool I am using is a Chrome extension called Hunter.

Some podcast sites may only have a contact form, and that’s OK too, but the majority will reveal email addresses.

So, build a list of about 20 podcasts you would love to be on,

Setting up podcast guesting outreach campaigns

There are basically 2 ways to approach this:

Time or money

Either you handle an outreach campaign by yourself, or you hire someone to do it for you. Several companies that specialize in arranging podcast guest appearances have sprung up in the last year or two, and this can save time.

Here is are two quick start services that offers to do the hard work for you. You don’t get as much control about which podcasts you get to appear on. But I would recommend this in broader niches. For specific small niches, it might be more effective for you to start out doing research yourself.

Perfect Podcast Guest:

How would you like to have hundreds of podcast producers, hosts, and other media outlets contacting YOU to be a guest on their show? Their concept is that they will list you as a potential guest in their directory. So it is a way for podcast hosts and producers to find you.

They offer 2 plans:

  • Get a 30-day listing for only $1. Subscription is $9.99/mo*.
  • A yearly plan, where you get two months free, for $99*

Interview Valet:

This premium service does a lot of the work for you, and can get you on some great shows. But it comes at a price of $750 a month. So depending on your situation, this may jump start your guesting efforts.

Podcast Bookers:

Their ideal clients are book authors, business owners, marketers, digital agency owners and entrepreneurs with a record of success and a story to tell.

Their ($99)$450 per month starter plan comprises

  • 2 Bookings Per Month
  • Dedicated booking agent
  • Find and research great shows
  • Customized pitching
  • Contact and follow-up
  • Scheduling & confirmation
  • Detailed email summary
  • Replacement if show cancels
  • Custom “one-sheet” for pitching
Podcasting Resources Guide

Podcasting Resources Guide Guesting Resource Category

We feature many more additional resources for podcast guest and host matching, including many more placement services and platforms that have been developed as of 2024.

The DIY Way:

Doing outreach campaigns yourself can be easy and is cost effective. But you need some time,  a thick skin, and cannot have a low tolerance for rejection if you don’t want to spend a ton of money. I am assuming you are a resilient podcaster and entrepreneur here.

The good news is that you will build reusable assets the first time you run a podcast guesting campaign. Each additional podcast guesting project will take less and less time.

I would still recommend going this route. Here is why:

Because as a podcast producer we have seen tons of examples of people pitching us to be on one of our shows. 9 times out of 10 these are impersonal mass emails.

Your opportunity here is to do the opposite and to do this right: research and personalize each time you reach out to someone.

  1. Listen to a few recent episodes, not just one
  2. Jot down something you liked about their show or interview
  3. Write down 3 different ways in which you could add a new perspective to a topic they have covered
  4. Be aware about your hosts current content themes if any [xxx]

The Podcast Guesting Outreach Template

First, develop an email outreach template, and then heavily personalize it using the above research before you send it. The tone and effectiveness of your invitation to the host of a show is critical here.

  • What unique information can you teach their audience?
  • What is the value to their audience of having you be a great podcast guest expert?
  • Are there interesting stories their audience will benefit from hearing?
  • Can you think of the most relevant advice and knowledge for your podcast host’s audience?

Keep in mind that this template will need to only be created once, and has additional benefits. It could also serve for other outreach campaigns, such as guest posting and link building. We have a template for you to download in our resources section at the bottom of these show notes. Click here to access.

One Sheeter

Next, design a standing PR kit “One-Sheeter” for your podcast and add this as an attachment or separate section. This is another on-time only effort.

This sheet should be all about you, your podcast, the topics, audience, social proof. If you are creating your podcast one-sheet, remember this won’t replace the pitch; however, it will supplement and enhance it. A sample outline of a podcast one-sheet might therefore include:

  • A Short introduction
  • The value or topic areas your podcast covers
  • Other places you have been featured (i.e. other podcasts)
  • Your environment/equipment
  • Audience stats for social media
  • A link to your online calendar
  • Contact information
  • Sign off/thanks

Your Outreach Email

Because a one-sheeter alone does not replace your outreach email, your email should include these elements (courtesy of “Podcast Bookers”)

  1. Step #1: An enchanting subject line that grabs attention. Your subject line makes or breaks your pitch.
  2. Step #2: A personal greeting that builds a connection. Greet the show owner by name.
  3. Step #3: A killer opening that introduces you powerfully. Your opening lines should say who you are and why you’re writing.
  4. Step #4: A compact body that highlights your story. In the body copy, focus on the novelty of your story. Your originality is what gets you the gig. Show the host why your story is different. Keep searching until you find a unique angle. You should also add a dash of social proof to showcase your authority. There are so many ways of demonstrating your authority. Here are some of them:
    • Share some popular podcasts you’ve been featured on.
    • Brag about top industry blogs you’ve been featured on.
    • Mention any notable press mentions if you have any.
    • Reference an industry-related book if you’ve written any.
    • State any industry awards you’ve won over the years.
  5. Step #5: A convincing close to ram the point home. Close with a stirring conclusion that compels the host to respond positively to your request. A question makes a good call to action.2

What if no one responds?

  • Don’t take it personally
  • Be persistent
  • Don’t re-send the same email, keep adding value: Here are some ideas for adding elements to follow up emails:
    • Share links to other podcast episodes you’ve been on
    • Add social proof in the form of testimonials for your speaking or writing
    • Link to articles you’ve written that align with one of the topics you pitched

Time Savers

Here are some time saving tips:

  • Use TextExpander (or your emails built-in template system) to prepare and then personalize your podcast guesting outreach emails. This works great for one-at-a-time emails.
  • Use Chrome extensions like Hunter and YAMM to automate the outreach process so you can send campaigns to dozens if not hundreds podcast hosts. We demo this process in detail in the video at the top of this page, and in our downloadable guesting system at the bottom of these show notes.
  • Use some sort of tracking system.
    • We use a marketing automation platform called SharpSpring (think HubSpot but a fraction of the cost).
    • G-Suite and Gmail allow you to send trackable links
  • But even so, there are free options to track.  At least you will know if your recipient opened the email or not.

Your Guest Appearance

Putting thought into the podcasts you appear on means thinking about the host on the other end of your interview. Again, you as a podcast know about this, right?

Make it easy for your host, especially if you have never met. Follow the process they outline for you, if they ask you to use their tools and forms, go along with it.

Make sure you listen to recent episodes of their show.

Look up your host on their “about” page, and learn about them as a person, something you can weave into the conversation as appropriate.

Be aware of the format and structure of the show you are appearing on.

Follow-Ups

After your interview, support your host in the way you wished your own guests would. Reach out and thank your host, and offer your support in sharing the show notes. Ask if there is anything you can do to help create these, for example links, image and other information you should have already sent to the host in the form of your one-sheeter.

Links Mentioned In This Episode

Downloadable Outreach System – Our Guesting Templates

Podcast Guesting Templates

As featured in our video demo (at 7m:30sec), below are the templates we use for this. Just unlock these below and you will get

  • Podcast Guesting Outreach Email Template – (via Google Docs)
  • Outreach Database & Personalization Template – (via Google Sheets)
  • Integration ready for use with YAMM mail merge tools so you can contact 100’s of podcast hosts – in a highly personalized way.

Unlock Our Podcast Guesting System

Get The Outreach Database & Personalization Template

UNLOCKED! Thanks for joining us!

Here are the links, these are public read only documents on Google Sheets and Google Docs, just copy them to your own account to start using them.

  1. Outreach Email Template for you to customize for your own show
  2. Outreach Database & Personalization Template
  3. I highly recommend installing the Hunter - Email Capture Chrome Extension
  4. Also the YAMM - Yet Another Mail Merge Outreach Campaign Tool
  5. Be sure to watch the YAMM support instructions on how to set up a campaign.

To see how this all works together, be sure to click below and the video will start right at 7m:30s:

Be sure to just ask me any questions in the comments, or better even join our Facebook Discussion Group for Podcast Marketing as well!

Cheers, Juergen

Conclusion

Podcast guesting may sound like a lot of work. But believe me, it is worth it. There are SEO services out there charging $500+ for a guest post article or back link from a reputable site. And this strategy is better. You will get an evergreen audio interview about your podcast and business, with a back-link to your site. You will also be speaking to and engaging a new audience that is already listening to podcasts and ready for your message and mission.

If you have a podcast, then one of your top priorities will be to increase your audience size. After all, if you create a podcast to which no one listens, does it even matter?

So at first glance, you may think that running Facebook Ads would be an excellent vehicle to promote your podcast and help increase your listening numbers and subscribers. After all, Facebook will allow you to finely target your audience and do it in a very cost-effective way.

My point with this post is not so much to argue that Facebook is inherently a poor platform to advertise podcasts on, but rather to point out that there is a better way to do podcast marketing than most marketers recommend.

There has been a slew of recent posts on how to best advertise podcasts on Facebook, and I fundamentally disagree with the premise of these posts. Here is why:

So what’s the problem with using Facebook Ads to promote your podcast?

The issue has to do with where to send traffic once someone clicks on your ad.

So many marketers recommend promoting Facebook episodes by directly linking to the Apple Podcasts (Formerly iTunes) or Android episode pages.

  • They argue this is better than sending people to a show notes page on your site
  • In fact, many of these posts argue that you don’t need show notes pages at all, and can save the time and effort
  • They say that Apple Podcasts and Stitcher is after all where you want people to go to subscribe to your show
  • They advise that this is the best way to capture people on mobile devices, by targeting an iOS audience for the direct link to the Apple Podcasts episode, and by targeting Android audience and sending them to the Stitcher episode link

I fundamentally disagree with promoting your Apple Podcasts and Stitcher podcast links  for the following five reasons:

#1 — It Costs Too Much

Sure, your ads may result in getting more subscribers to your podcast on Apple Podcasts and Stitcher, but Facebook podcast marketing ads should have a better goal than just to add listeners to your podcast. And the cost per new listener is usually quite high.

Think of it this way, in terms of analytics: “Cost per anonymous listener” IS NOT THE SAME THING AS “Cost per qualified lead or email subscriber.” You could be adding leads for your business, building your email list, increase the rank and traffic for your site, and building a digital asset for your brand.

Instead, you could be getting greater value and ROI from your Facebook ads by focusing on lead generation and list growth instead of on just getting more listeners.

#2 — Apple Podcasts and Google Play Do Not Need More Traffic From Your Facebook Podcast Marketing

promote-your-podcast-on-itunesYou are paying for traffic that you are sending to Apple Podcastsand Google Play Music.

Really?

Instead, your site could be benefitting from greater traffic, rank, and authority.

#3 — Blind Dates

promote your podcast with a blind dateApple Podcasts and Google play traffic may slightly increase your subscriber and listener stats at Libsyn or Blubrry. Of course, this cannot truly be measured, since Facebook won’t know how many listeners subscribed to your show on those platforms.

Read about this  complete analysis of Google AdWords vs Facebook Advertising for podcasts

More importantly, you don’t know whose these listeners are. Since you are not capturing their email address, you have much less of a chance to engage with them, even if they are big fans of your show. If you don’t manage to send them to your website and show pages, you are essentially going on blind dates – without ever even asking for a name. So, a very passive way to promote your podcast.

Instead, your podcast listeners could be coming to YOUR site, because you offer valuable additional episode information there. They could be signing up to receive podcast notifications via email, or finding links and resources about your guests, and downloading these resources from you in exchange for an email address.

So, during your podcast, make sure you mention an easy to remember episode show notes link like “mypodcast.com/132” – and mention this often, for example at the start of the show, create your own mid-roll segment inviting people to visit your site, and include it again in the outro.

#4 — No Digital Sharecropping

facebook podcast marketing without digital sharecropping in promoting your podcastIn my opinion, too many authors, speakers, entrepreneurs and small businesses spread their entire online presence across 3rd party platforms. They want authority and recognition in their space but are also conscious of the promised audience, engagement, ease of use and time savings these platforms promise.

They post all of their valuable intellectual capital and thought leadership content on platforms like Medium, LinkedIn or Facebook instant articles. Their videos exist only on Youtube, their podcasts episode only on Soundcloud, Apple Podcasts or Stitcher. In other words, on platforms they themselves don’t own outright, but platforms that have a built-in audience and engagement.

In the long run, this is short-sighted

What to do instead? I am not proposing to avoid these platforms. However, I am saying that traffic to promote your podcast should land on your site.

And this content should live on your own site FIRST AND FOREMOST, and then be shared from there centrally, spreading out to 3rd party platforms for social engagement. Especially if you are using Podcasting as Content Strategy.

The effort involved in creating and maintaining your podcast show notes are well worth it in the long run and pales in comparison to the effort of actually creating your content in the first place. You need to build system for sharing from this central platform only once – the week to week effort of recording episodes and publishing show notes for them adds up only gradually, and much of the process and subsequent syndication of your content can be automated.

For our clients, we specialize in automation of the entire podcast production and publishing workflow, including automatically syndicating your episode content onto many other platforms. The content calendar tools and automation processes we use for this is the topic of another upcoming post, feel free to subscribe to our blog to learn more.

In short, having your own SEO optimized podcast show notes pages allow you to build a much more valuable asset on your site, audience, and email list. Would you not rather have free traffic and rank for your site? Would you not rather earn organic search traffic over time? And I think most marketers would agree that email lists are still the most valuable asset to build for your digital presence. Overlooking the SEO value of your show notes pages is one of the deadly podcast marketing sins I write about elsewhere on this blog.

The Importance of Building A Conversion Optimized Podcast Home Page

Podcast Website Design Patterns For Conversion And List Building

If you agree with the idea that your site is a valuable way to gain podcast subscribers, then you will want to build a great conversion optimized podcast home page. We recently published a video walkthrough which showcases a highly converting podcast website design pattern called “The Upside Down Podcast Home Page”.

#5 — Analytics & Measuring Performance

How do you measure your investment in Facebook ads? For me the answer is how many people SIGN UP for your podcast or blog, NOT how many more listeners you might be getting on Apple Podcasts.

Before running ad campaigns on Facebook, you get to decide the “Goal” of each ad campaign during the setup process. Simply measuring “clicks to a website” is the weakest form of available analytics, yet this is the only goal you can use when sending traffic to Apple Podcastsor Stitcher.

Facebook cannot measure who subscribed to your podcast on Apple Podcastsor Stitcher, or even if they listened to an episode after clicking on your ad. So how do you optimize or test your ads? If you are sending your ad traffic to Apple Podcasts and Stitcher as proposed by many marketers, then the only way you can tell if these ads are even working is to see if your Libsyn or Blubrry stats increased during the time you ran the ad. And of course, even then you don’t know the identity of the people who subscribed.

promote your podcast and know your numbers

A recent marketing webinar from SharpSpring pointed out that focus on conversion rate was by far the most important metric to measure.

A better goal is to measure “Conversions”, and Facebook algorithms are more effective in showing your ads to the best possible and highly “converting” audience. However, for this you need to install a “Facebook Pixel” on your site, so that actual sign-ups to your podcast email subscription list can be recorded on Facebook. Having a Facebook Pixel on your site is not complicated, there are great plugins for this. (My favorite is PixelYourSite, which makes installation and managing Facebook Pixels a snap)

Facebook then improves the targeting of who they show your ads to, based on who signed up, and builds in effect a custom audience for your on the fly during the campaign. This results in a much better use of your advertising dollar.

Conclusion

IMHO, having a highly converting home page for your podcast is critically important – to promote your podcast and build a subscriber list outside of Apple Podcasts. And so is having episode specific show notes pages. Most good podcasts already do. So if the way you promote your podcast is to be sending Facebook ad traffic directly to your episode pages on Apple Podcasts and Stitcher, I’d encourage you to do otherwise.